March is Severe Weather Preparedness Month. Did you know the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) coordinates responses to help people before, during, and after disasters? Within FEMA is the Office of Disability Integration and Coordination (ODIC) to lead FEMA’s commitment to achieve whole community emergency management focusing on the needs of people with disabilities.
ODIC’s focus on ensuring equal access for disability population will help facilitate a smoother transition to return to work after a disaster. ODIC is staffed across the 10 FEMA regions with Regional Disability Integration Specialists who provide guidance, training, and tools for facilitating disability-inclusive emergency preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation. In addition, ODIC provides assistive devices in disaster recovery centers to accommodate disaster survivors with disabilities as they apply for disaster assistance.
1. About FEMA - This link includes a listing of states within each of the 10 FEMA regions combined with a broad overview about the agency housed within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
2. About Office of Disability Integration and Coordination – Link to learn more about the mission and role of Office of Disability Integration and Coordination (ODIC) within FEMA.
3. DisasterAssistance.Gov - Enter your city and state or ZIP code to see if your area has been declared for Individual Assistance. An application is included to apply online for assistance.